As a former NewBreed (HubSpot Agency Partner) and current Coegi employee, I thought it would be interesting to explore Inbound vs Outbound lead generation and where PPC fits into the mix.
Inbound lead generation is a strategy centered around SEO and Content Marketing where companies develop target Buyer Personas to identify keywords and create relevant content in the form of blog posts, whitepapers, guides and more. By creating valuable content and optimizing for keywords relevant to personas, companies start their inbound lead generation efforts and begin to pull visitors to their sites organically. Once a prospect finds valuable content, they are usually prompted with a lead capture form that will integrate into a businesses’ CRM system. Including lead qualifying questions on lead capture forms can help companies segment and identify quality prospects early on in the inbound lead generation process. While inbound lead generation is powerful, it does require significant time investment before efforts are actualized. According to HubSpot studies, it generally takes companies one full year to double their monthly lead growth.
Outbound lead generation is the more traditional, “intrusive approach” in that content is delivered without the viewers permission. Typical outbound lead generation tactics include everything from TV commercials to print, and radio ads. In the B2B industry, outbound lead generation is generally meant to refer to cold calls, direct mail and trade shows. While outbound “push tactics” can sometimes be seen as interruptive, they can also be extremely effective when leveraged appropriately alongside a strategic marketing plan. Companies that understand their target customers can use that information to decide which outbound tactics to employ and in what scope in order to get in front of the right buyers. Outbound tactics can also be delivered at a much larger scale and in a more timely fashion compared to inbound initiatives
Pay-Per-Click is an interesting marketing tactic that has blended the line between inbound and outbound over time. In fact, in 2010 HubSpot called for the end of PPC declaring it a “wasteful” outbound effort only to take that back 5 years later, pointing to how it could be leveraged as a powerful inbound lever. The argument for outbound, much like other related tactics, is that viewers do not give permission to receive the content and therefore it is intrusive. The counter-argument for inbound is that through improved technology over time, Google and search algorithms have become so good at identifying their most valuable customers that PPC ads have become relevant and helpful to users. So, who is correct? It really doesn’t matter! Regardless of how you categorize PPC, the importance is whether or not you are doing it correctly. As long as prospects are finding the content relevant then PPC campaigns will be very effective.
To quantify content relevancy, compare performance metrics against current benchmark data.
There is no “one size fits all” marketing plan and there are a lot of factors that will determine which strategies you should prioritize for you business, although if possible a healthy mix of inbound and outbound tactics are recommended.
Author: Julian Ames, Marketing Assistant